Situated in Silicon Valley, Mountain View is home to many high technology companies. In 1956, Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory, the first company to develop silicon semiconductor devices in what came to be known as Silicon Valley, was established in the city by William Shockley. Today, many of the largest technology companies in the world are headquartered in the city, including Google, Mozilla Foundation, Symantec, Symphony Teleca and Intuit. The original Byte Shop, computer store was opened at 1063, El Camino Real, Mt. View by Paul Terrell and the first 50 Apple I Computer were delivered and sold from that location. The city's tax base helps support public education. Local transportation networks integrate the city closely with the neighboring cities of Palo Alto, Los Altos, and Sunnyvale.
Mountain View had its beginnings in the late 19th century as a stagecoach stop on the route between San Francisco and San Jose, including the Butterfield Overland Mail. Incorporated on November 7, 1902, the town's early growth was due to agriculture, which remained the primary industry into the middle of the 20th century. After World War II, the population grew significantly with the development of the aerospace and electronics industries. Between 1950 and 1960, the population grew from 6,563 to 30,889, an increase of 370.7%.
Today, high technology is the foundation of the local economy, and there exist few remnants of the city's agricultural past. In 1990, Kevin Duggan began his position as city manager. He built a relationship with Google, Inc., and issued a long-term lease to that and other technology companies. As of 2014, those leases generate over $5 million per year in city revenue. Duggan reinstituted a special tax district for the Shoreline area, which was a landfill and pig farm in 1990. That money allowed the city to create a large park and golf course on the site. The Castro Street downtown area also benefitted from a special tax district.
GeographyMountain View is located at (37.42223, −122.08429).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 12.3 sq mi (31.8 km2). 12.0 sq mi (31.1 km2) of it is land and 0.27 sq mi (0.7 km2) of it (2.26%) is water.
Mountain View is located at the north end of State Route 85, where it meets U.S. Route 101. State Route 82 follows the route of the historic El Camino Real through Mountain View. The city is bounded to the northwest by Palo Alto, to the southwest by Los Altos, to the southeast by Sunnyvale, to the northeast by Moffett Federal Airfield, and to the north by the Bay.
To the west lie the Santa Cruz Mountains, for which the city is named and which separate it from the Pacific Ocean. To the east lies the Diablo Range. Both ranges, which together form the boundaries of the Santa Clara Valley, are visible from many parts of the city.
Most of Mountain View consists of residential neighborhoods. Business parks are located mostly in the North Shoreline neighborhood, north of Highway 101, and east of Highway 85.